It was a night of talent, glamour, surprises and disappointment. There were plenty of highs, some definite lows, a fair share of gratuitous theatrics, and way more than a fair share of bad jokes. Overall, this year’s Oscar awards came in at mediocre, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between spectacularly amazing and offensively dull.
So the question is what worked and what didn’t? Here’s a list of some of the highest and lowest moments of the 2013 Oscar awards.
1. Ben Affleck enacted sweet, sweet revenge when his film, “Argo,” won the award for Best Picture, a virtual slap in the face to those in The Academy who didn’t think him deserving of a spot in the Best Director category.
2. Anne Hathaway’s win for best performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role definitely ranks this list. Though the actress isn’t necessarily a fan favorite – she is often panned for her irritatingly overeager enthusiasm – it’s hard to deny her immense ability and the brilliance of her performance as the powerfully despairing Fantine.
3. Ang Lee disproved all the skeptics who thought “Life of Pi” would not work onscreen when he won the award for Best Director. Lee’s fantastical visual masterpiece also picked up two more Oscars for Cinematography and Visual Effects, as well as a fourth award for Best Original Score.
4. Though this may be on her “worst” list, Jennifer’s Lawrence trip up to the stage was a highlight of the evening, though not for the reasons one might think. The Best Actress winner managed to turn this otherwise humiliating moment into a graceful show of emotion, proving once again the enormity of her skill and artistry.
5. While the progression of the awards show may have seemed a bit awkward, the set design was all class and charm. From the glowing light installations to the elegant patterns that donned the normally all-black stage floor, the look was reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour and elegance, transformed into a majestic world created by an overhanging curtain made up of over 80,000 Swarovski crystals.
1. There is no question, #1 on this list is Seth MacFarlane’s performance. The fact that his opening act was somewhat of a setup to the William Shatner bit affords the first-time host a bit of grace, but certainly not enough to overlook the onslaught of distastefully raunchy jokes, which at times, verged on racist. The Oscars are by far – as history has shown – the toughest awards ceremony to host, but MacFarlane may have carved a new notch on the belt of shame.
2. The so-called “tribute” to the musical genre of James Bond theme songs was anything but. When one does a musical tribute, you would expect to see a selection of the best songs from that particular artist or genre; instead, viewers got a collage of the best Bond movie clips, while the same one song played over it. It seemed more like a last-ditch effort than a heartfelt tribute to the iconic Bond music.
3. We get it. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produced the smash hit “Chicago.” What we don’t get is why “Chicago” was part of the Oscars. The idea of paying tribute to the music of the movies is a good one, but unfortunately it wasn’t executed very well. The musical numbers were, for the most part, bland, and seemed to interrupt the flow of the show rather than add to its excitement. If you’re going to celebrate musicals, you’ve got to go all out; a half-assed effort results in a half-assed show.
4. It’s hard to admit, but this year, the fashion was not one of the high points of the event. Granted there were a few knockouts, including Halle Berry and Jennifer Lawrence, but for the most part, the stars’ looks were pretty much like the Oscars themselves: mediocre and outdated.
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